Why I Look To The Trees For Design and Health Continuity

Why I Look To The Trees For Design and Health Continuity

Today there is an absorbent amount of information readily available for whatever issue is at hand. People are becoming more specialized and willingly ready or already sharing what they know. Since childhood, I look to the trees for continuity. Last year I heard Ed Catmul say "art is about seeing," as he explained how he created a culture without a power structure to eliminate barriers to truth. "You have to go (through failure) to get something you don't know." Trees communicate design intelligence. We see their uniqueness, alive or rotted, and hear them when it's windy. They morph into numerous shapes that range from solid to thin forms. Trees give and support my ability to be creative. Often their waste is the expense for my ideas to become tangible. Trees resemble their health. They endure seasons while stretching upward and outward. Trees withstand beastly spiders or engraved sentiments. A tree may quit producing fruit but continue to live or be cut while it's healthy for a...
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How To Improve Confidence by Estimating Time Accurately

How To Improve Confidence by Estimating Time Accurately

With setting goals a timeline and deadline is created. Estimating time accurately is a skill that begins with childhood activities including board games and getting ready for school. It may improve or weaken depending on the practice how frequently it's practiced. Skills improve with practice. The ability to make accurate estimates is closely tied to the ability to understand and solve problems. Learning to approximate activity lengths prepares for future goal setting. Poor time estimation weakens confidence because short and long-term goals are repeatedly missed. The mind processes stories with better recall then it does with time estimation. Estimating measurements is most often a mathematical skill, which improves with practice. Illusions often stand in the way. Stories may offer an illusion of time that exaggerates the effect of changing circumstances on future performance. Illusions, or the suggestiveness of imagination, has risks. The skill of intuitiveness is different because it uses a different part of the brain to measure risk. Still, it in't an exact science. "Nothing in life is as...
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Losing Things Anxiety

Losing Things Anxiety

While on a laidback visit with family in Delaware, I came to a hard realization.  Something was not working. I was losing items left and right.  I was losing things like my jacket, the dog dish, and my glasses.  It was a wakeup call.  I became aware things needed to change because I knew it was my anxiety creeping in. Slowly, I put the pieces together to try and wrap my head around this. You would’ve thought that would be obvious after being on my sixth pair of sunglasses and looking at a jewelry box filled with missing earrings.  However, some lessons take longer to learn than others. Keeping track of things can be a full time job.  Luckily, I surround myself with very observant people and a boyfriend who always checks the couch cushion before we leave. Talk about context, environment, and space recently led me to a new approach.  Change the environment and you change your behavior. Simple. Sign me up! Exploring what that looks like definitely...
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5 Ideas To Endure Sitting At A Desk For 8 Hours

5 Ideas To Endure Sitting At A Desk For 8 Hours

As I was whistling-while-I worked today, an alarming thought gave me pause: could I survive sitting eight hours at a desk? Today was a good day because I didn't sit.  I accomplished all of my things-to-do from my list of the things I love-to-do, moving about creatively and solving problems. Without movement, interaction, and creative thinking I lose energy and interest.  Pamela Crooke at social thinking recently shared this about what my brain might weigh-in on this matter: Our brains are pretty resistant when it comes to changing something we’ve done for awhile or something we find pleasurable. In fact, a professor from Stanford recently published a book on willpower and describes the brain as something that operates on the levels of “I will”, “I won’t”, and “I want” (McGonigal, 2012). If you think about behavior change in your own life, this makes a lot of sense. The “I want” part of our brains, or the midbrain, is actively seeking our desires while the...
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Respond to Anger with Kindness

Respond to Anger with Kindness

We are unique! Our behaviors respond in different ways. At work leaders may tell you to respond to anger with kindness.  Effective communication is often interpreted as kindness. Put down the mental shot gun of using feelings about the subject, current mood, and impressions to achieve this (Kahneman 2011). Begin with understanding one's true nature. We respond with harmony or discord. Understanding one's personality and temperament helps develop healthy relationships. It enhances goal achievement. It enables you to respond to anger with kindness! If knowing one's true nature sounds like a winning solution to you, below is personality and temperament descriptives. Personality A collective of an individual's attitudes, behavioral patterns, emotional responses, social roles and other individual traits that are innate, predisposed and endure over a long period of time. We recharge one of two ways: as an extrovert or an introvert. Extroverts What: they gain their energy by being with other people, find it exhausting to be alone, need people to help them think through their problems,...
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The Best Way to Achieve Competitive Advantage

The Best Way to Achieve Competitive Advantage

A Psychology Today report offered a new perspective on the much talked about Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The idea of 'Workplace' is shifting across all possibilities to support telecommuters plus lower work space costs. With this shift is less physical interface with colleagues. Steve Jobs and Harmut Esslinger kept working together in one space for their purpose. This is what Steve Denning, contributor to Forbes shares on the topic of working together to  collaborate: "In reality, Rutledge’s rewired version of psychological needs suggests a more realistic set of multiple paths, through social connection, to meet our varying psychology needs. What it implies, and the experience of radical management confirms, is that getting work done by people working together in self-organizing teams can meet most people’s psychological needs without positing unrealistic goals of self-actualization as the be-all and end-all of life." In the wellness industry, self-actualization is identified by industry terms like 'mindfulness', 'deep emotional work', 'letting go', or 'believe in the power within'. When terms are unfamiliar then initial...
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How I Dynamically Liberate Spunk Day or Night

How I Dynamically Liberate Spunk Day or Night

A good friend of mine once asked if I was a night owl or a morning lark.  This reference to my energy patterns was certainly thought provoking. After talking with many people – I realized how many people regard being a morning or evening person as part of their identity.  Lark verses night owl identities significantly results cultural meaning. Essentially, this relational category helps us gravitate towards specific relationships and accomplishments. My energy bursts seem to be in the morning, so one may say I'm a Lark. Sometimes I like to get myself organized and complete all essential tasks (laundry, cleaning, e-mails, workout) that expend a lot of physical or mental energy in this time frame. Evenings are always more geared to the quieter things I enjoy, including going for a walk, reading, or a phone call with a good friend. Do you relate? Then one might presume you're a Lark. This morning I woke up earlier than usual. I didn't have anywhere to be...
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How To Quit Smoking

How To Quit Smoking

Smoking isn't healthy but it kept me sane. It was a deadly habit but it helped me thrive professionally, socially and oddly enough, athletically. I loved to smoke and didn't attempt to quit until the day I stopped 'cold turkey'.  The miracle in this was I lost the urge to smoke but I gained a body that was unable to cope with stress. What I did: smoke to cope. Our hormones are what regulates stress. Everyone doesn't have the same hormone secretion so our level of what is stressful can vary. This is significant to how an individual will react within the fight-or-flight response. How to quit smoking is similar to unravelling a ball of yarn from a neatly organized ball. My late teens, twenties then just into my thirties were thrilling because of my best friend, Cig A Rette. Always faithful and satisfying but equally costly and smelly. I didn't care about that because I was after the calm, filling effect nicotine...
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Create a Trust Environment

Create a Trust Environment

I remember what I was wearing, the room I was in, the furniture, the color...the smells. Past memories surface when least expected. In a fleeting moment confusion may occur. The mind races towards how to direct behavior. A task or person may trigger past trauma, pain, or uneasy sensory memories. Aware or not, everything registers in to the brain as a memory (ASA 2014). So colors, objects, people, patterns - anything in the line of sight (and peripherally), smell, taste - all registers as 'data'. The brain organizes this information to use as a response behavior. Trust is included in the life memory bank. Comfort, safety, restful environments or things are included as trustful. This intellectually driven method aids to establish trust. Conflict resists trust. The brain organizes conflict into 'fight' behaviors like passivity, anger, or manipulation. It's capable of experience-dependent change. It needs present experiences to change its original interpretation. Questions to Ask: Is there a person or people at work...
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How Sounds Reclaim Life, Boosts Performance, and Surrenders Agony

How Sounds Reclaim Life, Boosts Performance, and Surrenders Agony

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.  BOB MARLEY Our inner ear provides us with a lot of information about the world around us. This sound travels through the ear by means of the auditory nerve, then to be processed by our brain. Even if we were blindfolded, we would be able to identify if we were in a large stadium versus a small confined room based on the sounds and how that sound travels through space. Music has the ability to produce an orienting response. Sounds reclaim life, boosts performance, and energizes perception. Picture grandma dropping a pan and automatically everyone in the room turns to see what it is - they orient towards that sound. Although we usually view loud noises as environmental noise pollution other types of more organized music have the ability to provide us with an orienting response in a more subtle way. When feeling sluggish, anxious, or overwhelmed it is common to go into...
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Our Gut Brain

Our Gut Brain

Who said we feed more than one brain? The butterflies, the stomach and head aches, inflammation, nausea, gastrointestinal issues, allergies, and many other common illnesses. Our head brain is similar to a car battery. It powers the body. Our gut brain is similar to a car transmission. It turns everything entering the body into energy. Here's how this breaks down. Our gut houses a system called the enteric nervous system. It communicates to our head brain feelings that exceed hunger. Our head brain directly communicates to our gut brain the conversion of sensations to feelings. This information exchange regulates hormone secretion. Stress strains our mood-regulating hormone, serotonin, by a whooping 95%! Organs suffer from that much serotonin. Stress is as common as life choices. It's not bad. The culprit is how or if we are preparing for stress then managing it when it happens. Stress management is taking action by voting for a healthy mind, body, and work environment. Initial exploration to these actions begin with asking these...
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